The education department is all about getting us to use classroom language. For instance, if you have your students play a game in class, you are never, ever, ever, supposed to call it a GAME. You are supposed to call it a "learning activity." Because if you say GAME, all your kids will FREAK OUT and refuse to learn.

Ok, fine. I can live with that. I guess.

What I can't live with is the continued attempts to convince me to use the term graphic organizer instead of worksheet. Apparently, a WORKSHEET is bad. GRAPHIC ORGANIZER is good.

Here is the deal. No matter what you call the thing, a worksheet is a worksheet is a worksheet. I know it. The students know it. They might be fooled (a little) by "learning activity," but if you hand them a piece of paper with problems on it, they aren't going to be fooled into thinking it's a graphic organizer just because you decided to call it that. Believe me, I've tried.

I'm no expert, but instead of trying to fool kids I'm more inclined to

a) not use that many worksheets, anyways.
b) if I do use a worksheet, I tell them why it's important. (Help you study for a test, do homework, etc.)
c) double check to make sure the worksheet is actually necessary.

Honesty really is the best policy.

And that ends my educational rant.


tomandkellie said...

Hi there! I am a random reader you don't know personally, but I often read and enjoy your blog. I am currently a classroom teacher and I feel that I need to tell you that you are so spot on in this post - a worksheet is a worksheet. Why add more syllables to the name to make it sound fancy? Worksheets are only a negative activity if you let them be - such as in overusing them. But that is how it is with anything in teaching. Variety is essential in a classroom. Also, the BEST thing to call any kind of learning opportunity is a GAME. Many kids are turned off by anything that involves learning. At the beginning of a lesson, simply stating, "We are going to play a game" will get SO MANY kids engaged in the lesson. If they are still learning, why does it matter what it's called? That's crazy. Semantics. I call everything a game in my class and you know what - my students ENJOY coming to my class and they are still LEARNING. Don't let your education make you become too serious. Keep your sense of humor and enjoy your job!

Annette Lyon said...

Apt title, that.

Fact is, it doesn't matter what you call something if the underlying attitude behind it doesn't change. "Toilet" used to be where a woman primped, so they used that word to mean something else--hoping that other thing would no longer be considered crude. Now "toilet" has taken on the cruder connotations.

You're right on target. It's a WORKSHEET. Calling it anything else is a waste of time!

Lisa Louise said...

i wish more of our teachers had actually done that when we were in junior high and high school! You'll be a great teacher steep!

Michelle said...

organizer ... psh.

do they make you talk in your baby talk teacher voice too?

i have a friend that's a 4th grade teacher and she's so used to talking to her students like that that she talks to her friends like that now.

James McOmber said...

I feel you. On that very same note, you'll love this.

The Boob Nazi said...

Wait, why can't you call it a game? I'm confused.